Hustle (TV series)

Hustle (TV series)

infobox television
format = Drama/Comedy
show_name = Hustle

caption = Series title card
runtime = 60 minutes per episode (UK)
creator = Tony Jordan
starring = Adrian Lester Marc Warren
Robert Glenister
Jaime Murray
Ashley Walters
& Robert Vaughn
theme_music_composer = Simon Rogers
country = UK
network = BBC One
first_aired = 24 February 2004
last_aired = present (On Hiatus)
num_seasons = 4
num_episodes = 24
list_episodes = List of Hustle episodes|List of episodes
imdb_id = 0379632|

"Hustle" is a British television comedy-drama series made by Kudos Film & Television for BBC One in the United Kingdom.


Created by Tony Jordan (who also wrote many of the scripts) hand in hand with Bharat Nalluri who conceived the original idea, "Hustle" follows a group of London-based con artists as they attempt to dupe money out of their victims ("marks"). Despite their chosen trade, they adhere to codes such as "bad behaviour breeds bad luck". In particular they adhere to the first rule of the con "you can't cheat an honest man" because an honest man doesn't want something for nothing.

The series frequently breaks the fourth wall (usually at least once per episode) and uses cutaway scenes shot in a different style from the rest of the show. For example, in several episodes the characters appear to "stop time", interacting with other characters that are frozen in place, discussing the con either with each other, or even with the audience. The technique is used as a metaphor for how the main characters manipulate their environment at will, as opposed to normal people who have no clue of what is going on. Examples of this can be seen in the pilot episode, "Gold Mine", the first episode of the second series and "Signing up to Wealth", the second episode of the fourth series. Other fourth wall-breaking moments are more subtle - a character smiles at the camera as the con begins to take shape, or makes an editorial comment to the viewers. Some episodes insert fantasy sequences - scenes shot like a Bollywood musical or a silent movie, for example.

Each episode also amounts to a confidence game played upon the viewers through the use of misdirection and hidden plot details that are revealed at the end of the story. Not all cons depicted are successful, and some episodes focus on the characters dealing with the consequences of their actions. However, even if a con does fail, the characters usually come out on top in some way or other.

In addition to one long con, each episode features a number of short cons played by the major characters on members of the public. The short cons demonstrate the seemingly endless array of tricks professional con men possess and the ease with which short cons can be played.

The first six-episode series was originally broadcast between February and March 2004, and a second six-episode series began on 29 March 2005 and ran until May 2005. The third series began on 10 March 2006 (and began on 14 April 2006 on BBC One Scotland).The fourth series began in Britain on Thursday 3 May at 9:00pm [ [ BBC: Hustle] ] and in the U.S. 18 April 2007. [ [ AMC: Hustle] ] .

In October 2005, it was announced that the BBC had sold United States screening rights for the first two seasons to cable television station AMC, who joined as a production partner for the third run. The series is also screened in Spain and Portugal through the People+Arts channel, partially owned by BBC and the first two seasons aired back-to-back on CBC in Canada during the summer of 2006. The third season premiered on CBC on 13 February 2007. Season 4 marked a departure from the usual airing of the series. Typically, the BBC would air the episode in the UK and then 6 to 9 months later they would air in the US on AMC. However, due to the additional funding that AMC provided for the production, Series 4 debuted in the US prior to airing in the UK. The series has also been shown in other countries such as New Zealand, Australia (shown on Foxtel's UKTV), Japan and Italy on La7.

As a result of AMC's increased involvement, the first and final episodes of series 4 were filmed on location in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

The series got its own spin-off documentary, "The Real Hustle", in which Paul Wilson, Jessica-Jane Clement and Alexis Conran travel the country demonstrating cons to real people with the aid of hidden cameras. It is aired regularly on BBC Three.

Virgin Media TV has bought the rights to show Hustle on its flagship channel Virgin 1. The series currently airs on Thursdays at 10pm


Main Characters

*Michael "Mickey Bricks" Stone (portrayed by Adrian Lester in Series 1–3 and 5 ) is the group’s leader and ‘inside man’. An ambitious, intelligent and driven conman, Stone watched his father struggle to make an honest living for many years before he died just prior to the retirement he had looked forward to his whole life. Mickey understandably hates the system that he feels killed his father, and is determined to make sure he never struggles in the same way. A highly respected long-con expert, it is rumoured that he and Stacie "had a thing once”. Early on in the show, Mickey’s wife divorces him because of his dishonest lifestyle; this plot point helps to illustrate why the life of a grifter isn’t as much fun as it may seem – it can undermine a person’s ability to ever lead a normal life. (This is a theme that reappears throughout the show). Mickey left the team between Seasons Three and Four, to head up a long con in Sydney, Australia, one that only the great Mickey Bricks could pull off: selling the Sydney opera house.

*Danny Blue (portrayed by Marc Warren in Series 1 – 4 ) – Lacking a particular role within the group, Danny Blue is initially described as a ‘floater’ (a term he abhors). Already a seasoned short-con operator, Danny brashly forces his way into the gang at first, but after proving his loyalty is allowed to stay on and learn from Mickey, who is the “only man in London who can teach him anything”. He challenges Mickey’s authority constantly (as illustrated most explicitly by the ‘Henderson challenge’ episode) and finally gets a chance to lead his own crew when Mickey leaves for Sydney. Cocky and arrogant yet still vulnerable and somehow endearing, Danny is berated by Mickey for his lack of attention to detail when working the con, yet Albert maintains Danny has “…grift sense, and that’s something you can’t teach”. It is this instinct that will pull him through when things go wrong for the group, and Mickey is no longer around to ensure there’s a Plan B.

*Stacie Monroe (portrayed by Jaime Murray in Series 1 – 4 ) – Stacie uses her sex appeal to manipulate potential marks, both while working the long con and in more small-time cons (such as those used to raise funds for the team). She often poses as an employee of an institution (such as a museum) or an expert in a particular field (such as art), and casually mentions potential 'money-making schemes' (which are in reality cons) to provoke the mark's interest in the matter. However, it is worth noting that she is not simply a pretty face. Numerous times she has been praised for her intelligence and grifting ability, most notably in the very first episode when a police officer remarks that she is "maybe even in [Michael] Stone's league". Sequences in the series sometimes imply that Mickey & Stacy were romantically associated in the past.

*Ash "Three Socks" Morgan (portrayed by Robert Glenister since series 1) is the team’s fixer, who earned his nickname after his first trip to the showers while in prison. Ash can turn his hand to any job, and is seen at various points acquiring vast amounts of foreign currency, rigging a sophisticated alarm system and pretending to be an oil consultant. When Ash first appears on the show, he is working his favourite con; after deliberately stepping in front of a moving car, Ash passes off an old skull fracture as a fresh injury, in order to make an insurance claim.

*Albert Stroller (portrayed by Robert Vaughn since Series 1) is the team’s Roper. His job is to find the perfect mark; someone who is rich, greedy and has a weakness the team can exploit – and to hook them into the scheme, sometimes with the use of a ‘convincer’ (allowing the mark to make a profit initially, to win his trust for the next, much bigger investment; of which he or she will not see a penny!) Once a shoe salesman in the American Midwest, Albert is an old-style grifter, a gentleman, and a grandfather figure and mentor to the group.

*Billy Bond (portrayed by Ashley Walters since Series 4). Billy enters the crew in much the same way that Danny did - as a rookie, with a natural hustling instinct and a master of the short con, but with little knowledge or experience of the long con. Billy appears to be an astute and likeable character despite prior involvements in drug dealing and street gangs, and knows that his inclusion within the crew is his chance to make it big.

*Eddie (portrayed by Rob Jarvis since Series 1) is the owner (and barman) of "Eddie's Bar" where the group often plan cons, he is fully aware of the group and their dealings, and usually (but not always) adopts a "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" attitude. Often a victim of the petty grifts played on him by the crew whenever they want to get out of paying their bar tab, are trying to make a point to someone (usually either Danny or Eddie himself) or are sometimes just plain bored, Eddie has recently taken an active role as a bit player in one of their cons, and generally appears to be rather fond of them despite their minor schemes. The feeling seems to be reciprocated; when Eddie was ripped off by someone in series 4 who persuaded him to put his father in a dodgy care home, the gang retaliated on his behalf by pulling a long con on that person. This is the only con where the crew have deliberately chosen to reveal their true nature to the mark (after the con has been a roaring success).

Contacts and Marks

"For Contacts and Marks, see List of Hustle characters."


eries 1

*The Con is On
*The God Fhather Leandro
*Picture Perfect
*Cops and Robbers
*A Touch of Class
*The Last Gamble

eries 2

*Gold Mine
*The Lesson
*Old Acquaintance
*Eye of the Beholder

eries 3

*Be My Eminem
*Leader of the Pack
*Whittaker Our Way Out
*The Bollywood Con
*Royal Scoop
*The Ghost

eries 4

*As One Flew Out of the Cuckoo's Nest, One Flew In
*Signing Up to the Wealth
*Getting Even
*A Designer's Paradise
*Conning the Artists
*Big Daddy Calling


On 14 May 2007, it was confirmed that the BBC had commissioned a fifth series, but is unsure of how many episodes; some sources say that there will be six, whereas as other say there will be 8 or even 10. It also has been claimed that more episodes will be filmed in the US, with a number of Hollywood names interested in a part in the show.Fact|date=September 2007

An interview with Robert Glenister in "The Stage" magazine, published that same month indicated the BBC hadn't commissioned any new episodes at that point. [ [ The Stage: Hustle star: TV by committee is ‘bloody galling’; No fifth series?] ]

On 30 October 2007, "TvSquad" interviewed Robert Vaughn. According to Vaughn: "We've shot 24 episodes so far and we have another six to shoot... the schedule now is to not only do the fifth season but also 20th Century Fox has optioned it for a motion picture which would be a prequel to the television show in the sense that you will find out how we all met. And that's the plan, of course with motion pictures when the head of a studio changes the next person who takes the job erases the entire slate, so that might not happen, but we're pretty certain we're going to be doing the fifth season in the early spring or late winter." [ [ Robert Vaughn: The TVSquad interview] ]

On 14 January 2008 the Mirror newspaper reported that the BBC had axed "Hustle" after four series due to a lot of the cast doing other projects. Marc Warren is quoted as saying "I'd certainly be surprised if I were involved with more episodes of Hustle." [cite web
url =
title = BBC pulls Hustle plug
access date = 2008-01-21
year = 2008
publisher =

However it has been noted several times that Fox have bought the rights to Hustle and are planning to make a movie. On IMDb [ [ IMDb: Internet Movie Database] ] (Internet Movie Database) there has been cited a movie supposedly "in development" called "Hustle", whether or not this is the movie adaptation of the series is not yet known.

On 8 February 2008, whilst being interviewed for his new BBC Three show "Being Human", Lester said on the subject of Hustle, 'At the moment I'm back in the arms of the BBC shooting a series called Bonekickers, which will be shown on BBC One in the Spring of '08. There is talk of a fifth series of Hustle, but we'll see... ' [ [ Interview with Lester] ]

In a June 2008 TV magazine interview (TV Zone #229), James Strong who is directing a new BBC drama called "Bonekickers" which includes Adrian Lester in the cast, says his next project after "Bonekickers" will be to re-launch Hustle and bring Adrian Lester back. [ [ BBC Press Office] ] Matt Di Angelo's manager has reported, on their website, that Di Angelo will be playing a guest lead in the upcoming series. [ [ News blog at] ]

It was confirmed in June 2008 that Lester will be returning to for Series Five along with Robert Vaughn and Robert Glenister, however, Jaime Murray and Marc Warren will not be. Filming will start in London during the summer and the series will air in 2009. cite web|last= Reynolds|first= Simon|title= Lester returns for fifth 'Hustle'|publisher= Digital Spy|date= 2008-06-12|url=|accessdate= 2008-06-12]

Adrian Lester confirmed that he was currently in the process of filming the 5th series of Hustle. He did not however mention the possibility that Jaime Murray or Marc Warren would not be continuing into the 5th series.

In an interview on Radio 2 on 21 August 2008 promoting his new series 'Mutal Friends', Marc Warren confirmed that there was a 5th series of Hustle currently been filmed but he was not appearing in the series.

While been interviewed on the Ryan Tubridy Show on Ireland's RTE radio 1 on 2 September, Irish Actor Patrick Bergin said that he would be a guest star in an upcoming episode of Hustle.

Tony Jordan, who is the Main writer for the show, revealed that Bill Bailey will be a Guest star in the upcoming Series.

Former Eastenders actor, Matt Di Angelo will play a prominent character in the new series.

DVD Releases

Several series of the show have been released on 2-disc DVDs in both Europe and North America. The UK, Region 2, release of Season One erroneously contained the US edited versions of the episodes, and not the full uncut episodes as originally seen on BBC One. A revised edition was released some time afterwards. The revised edition has a 15 certificate whereas the cut DVD has a PG certificate. The back of the revised case also contains the words "Each episode aprox. 59 mins" under "Run Time" in the information table.


External links

* [ "Hustle"] at
* [ "Hustle"] at AMC
* [ "Hustle"] at CBC
* [ "Hustle"] at TV Squad
* [ "Hustle"] at Unreality TV Primetime
*imdb title|id=0379632|title=Hustle
* [ Series one, episode 1 script] at BBC Writers Room

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